Some tips on travelling to “exotic” places

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There are a few things to keep in mind when you travel to “exotic” places.

  • It’s their country and their culture, we are their guests, they are not our servants
  • One of our guides warned us about judging his culture through “western” values, just because it’s not the way we do it a home does not mean that it is wrong
  • If you are requested to follow certain rules in certain places, like covering your head or shoulders in a sacred site, do it or stay outside
  • If you are taking pictures of individuals be prepared to pay a small amount, it can mean more to some people than it does to you, and it’s quid pro quo, you got something – they got something
  • In some cultures, people will want to see the picture, show it to them, it will go a long way to fostering good relations
  • If you are in a place that does not allow photography, leave the camera at your side and take home a memory
  • Some cultures you are not permitted to photograph children, in which case, we don’t take pictures of children
  • Some cultures don’t want you to take pictures of their people – period, so don’t do it
  • Please don’t give out candy to children, take things like school supplies and fruit instead

In most cases the people are as interested in you as you are in them and their country. Most of the people you will meet are very polite, but don’t push it.

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